Environmental microbes are beneficial for human commensal gut microbiota, especially for its development during infancy. The ‘benefits of nature on infant gut health story’ in this seminar will be told in 3 parts based on the following evidence from the CHILD Cohort Study: (i) greater home use of disinfectant cleaning products alters the composition of an infant’s gut microbiota, (ii) home proximity to natural green space (eg. native vegetation) in urban centres can restore depleted gut microbes in young infants, and iii) there is a protective effect of natural green space proximity against development of environmental allergies in infants, which operates through a gut microbiota path.
About the Speaker
Anita Kozyrskyj is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. She leads the SyMBIOTA (Synergy in Microbiota: www.symbiotalab.com) research program on early-life environmental shaping of the infant gut microbiome, and child immune-related and neurodevelopmental outcomes in the CHILD Cohort Study (www.childstudy.ca). SyMBIOTA was funded by the 2010 CIHR Microbiome Initiative and is now part of CIHR’s IMPACTT microbiome research network, where Kozyrskyj is co-PI of the Human Cohort Design and Analyses Platform (www.impactt-microbiome.ca). Dr. Kozyrskyj’s SyMBIOTA program has generated 50 papers, 3 book chapters and trained many next generation microbiome researchers. Her microbiome papers have received awards for being the most influential, and have been cited by position statements on food allergy and neonatal early-onset bacterial sepsis. She is associate editor of J Dev Orig Health Dis and the interim President of DOHaD Canada.